Field Telescope – the real deal

You may have read a post I wrote ages ago about an inexpensive Indian-made “training” telescope? Well, here’s the real deal. A while back I was lucky enough to acquire a very nice 1917-vintage old-timey brass military telescope to use alongside my 1900-ish deer stalker’s telescope, and of course the half-sized, Indian-made “decorative” telescope.

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1917-vintage Broadhurst, Clarkson & Co Sig., Tel (MkIV) in its natural environment, being used as an aid for field panorama sketching. Seen here a couple of months back on a mid-winter swag walk in the mountains west of Sydney.

Here’s a tip if you’re ever looking at one of these old telescopes online or at a second hand store with a view to buying it – If the seller says it must be broken because it won’t focus, then you’re probably very close to getting yourself a bargain. Why is that? These multiple draw telescopes won’t focus if you just twist the eyepiece. In fact, if you do that with this particular model, the eyepiece will unscrew and fall off! Nope, to focus these you must push in or pull out the last draw tube until the image comes into focus.

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Archival Gear – Schmacalder Prismatic Compass by Ross Ltd. circa 1897-1907

Well, I’m back.

My dalliance with that other site wasn’t as successful as I’d have liked, so I’m transferring the more interesting of my posts over here to where they are more suited.

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The pocket-sized Schmalcalder prismatic compass ready to use, with lid removed, front sight vane in position and prism flipped up.

The first is a good look at an unusual compass from the late 19th Century. One of the first prismatic marching compasses, it’s the sort of thing Baden-Powell or Burnham may have carried during the Matabele Campaign.

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